The airline intend to increase route frequency to a daily service as they benefit from the strong transfer traffic and premium passenger demand that Heathrow attracts.
Vietnam import demand is expected to grow by around 250% between 2010 and 2020 – faster than any other emerging economy, including China.
The agreement with Vietnam Airlines took seven years to come to fruition, and Heathrow currently has a queue of thirty airlines waiting for slots. Although some airlines have attempted to operate from point-to-point airports, many more have instead opted to base their operations at hubs abroad.
Last year alone, the airport estimates that the UK lost over 5 million passengers to rival hubs, whilst a further 2.5 million passengers travelled from Heathrow via the UK’s European competitors due to the lack of long-haul connectivity caused by capacity constraints at Heathrow.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Securing regular direct flights from the UK to a vital emerging market demonstrates once again that only a strong hub airport like Heathrow, with a mix of premium direct and transfer passengers, can help Britain win the race for growth.
“With Vietnam identified by the government as one of the top twenty growth markets for UK businesses, this new route shows how Heathrow expansion is the best solution for the UK economy, creating up to £211bn in GDP and 180,000 new jobs.”